HARAJUKU SHOPPING: SECOND-HAND & OTHER BARGAINS

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TOKYO | Second-hand stores are one of the best sources of Japan’s typical Kawaii fashion. One of Tokyo’s main hub of cuteness, Harajuku area is understandably packed with thrift stores selling all sorts of used clothing and other vintage items. Those who love go bargain-hunting are the ones who could benefit the most because the area can be a real mine of second-hand pearls, as long as you are patient enough to scrutinise racks full of clothes. The Japanese are great at mix-matching trends and styles and that’s what makes a visit to Harajuku worthwhile. Most of Harajuku’s second-hand stores carry average brands, which make it a good choice for all kinds of budgets. (Upscale used-clothing and vintage stores  are mostly located in the cool hip area of Omotesando). I spent a couple of afternoons exploring the area during my latest trip to Japan and below are my four picks of thrift stores in Harajuku. Their styles are very different but in all of them expect to find some good  (and original) items for the most daring urban fashion outfits. SANTA MONICA A bit more sophisticate than the following choices, Santa Monica is consciously decorated following a unified style.  It has a cozy atmosphere and the stock is rather fresh and laid back; casual but hip.  The items are in good condition and most of them look quite new. Address: SANTA MONICA サンタモニカ表参道店 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 5 Chome−8-5 See on Google maps. CHICAGO Chicago is probably one of the best places in Tokyo to shop for used kimonos. Some of them are authentic vintage pearls, with fabulous patterns and made of high quality silks. Others are more recent but the stock they carry is so big that one can definitely find a choice that fits both tasted and the wallet. Chicago also carries an interesting selection of used clothing. Mostly urban fashion like t-shirts, Levis jeans, military jackets and vintage inspired skirts and dresses. Address: CHICAGO 表参道店 Jingumae 6 Chome 31-21, Shibuya, Tokyo Tel.:+82 03 3409 5017 See on Google maps. G2? G2? is rather smaller than Chicago or Santa Monica. The store is narrow but cozy and while it’s true that a great majority of the clothes they carry belong to the 80s and 90s, G2? Is still worth exploring as it also hides some vintage treasures. Address: G2? 2F, 3-22-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel.:+82 03 5786 4188 See on Google maps.   Photos by Iris Mir - Earth to Iris.

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